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Dd and I, some advice please.

(21 Posts)
emm0371 Wed 31-Dec-14 09:25:46

My dauhgter is 21. I live in the UK as I moved here with my English husband when she was 13, to get my then 8 year old ds a better education. She was obviously not happy with me moving but she wanted to live with her father and sm. They have given her a life I could never afford to give her. My husband however, was very abusive and I seperated from him 3 years ago. The problem is that she has not comunicated with me at all. I carry enormous guilt for having left my dd and for making a decission which has ruind our relatonship. Her father is very wealthy, (no my ds father), and he refused entierly that I take her with me to England 8 years ago. When I left her behind, my whole life fell apart. I sank into depression and felt I had compleatly faild her as a mother and knew I had lost her for good. To this day I have not been able to bounce back from my decission. I know I have let us all down.

A little background. I left my husband, and now life in a refuge with my ds 16. It is very hard and at times I have no idea how I am to carry on living. I lost my job due to PTSD. I was working until middle of November though. I have been living in the refuge for over 7 months now. Dd has no idea the extent of the abuse or how serious it was. She has recently told me though that me leaving dh was the best thing I ever did and she was proud of me for doing that.

She is at university in Denmark, but she is greatly unhappy there. She says that I am unable to give her advice about anything since I have never been to uni myself, ( gave that up to have her 22 years ago). Her father has provided her with a lifestyle whice I could never have been able to provide her with. Trips abroud many times a year, to different places, exchange student for a year in Seattle, private college for 3 years and Spanish lessons in Spain for 6 months. She does work incredibly hard inbetween, but her father has spoilt her and I feel even clouded her mind of what is real in terms of value. She also post on fb her other siblings, never talks to her brother who is with me and talks about her sm to a point where I am breaking, I never say anything when she is talking about them as I am so greatful for their relationship, but it cuts me up.

I am stayin in Iceland with my parents, my daughter and ds, over the holidays. It has been the worst holyday I have ever experienced. My mother is abusive (always has been), and that is another story, but I feel she has on this holiday come between me and dd, and on purpose. My daugher has hardly spoken to me, and I feel I am beneath her the way she acts and speaks to me. I have been in bits over this since we came here on the 21st Dec, and feel I have compleatly lost all hope with ever getting to know my dd again. I feel like she has found her sm to be more of support, (said so few days ago) and I am now sat here wanting the holiday to end so me and ds can go back and just try and live some sort of a life.

I guess what I am after is advice on how I can mend our broken relationship and if anyone out there has ever been in a similar situation. I guess I lost my daughters respect because I left her, and was in abusive marriage where I am now in a reguge and that I embarras her. I think she may feel I am just no good to anyone any more and I am a failiure.

Nonotagain Wed 31-Dec-14 09:37:34

Can you gave a straight conversation with her? About your life so far. If so how does she react. She has to learn empathy. Surely she has some if she knows she is living a privileged life yet you are in a refuge. That alone spells abuse following a marriage. If she can't see that then has been so sheltered and that is no good thing. All the trappings of travel, great education etc is nothing if you don't understand some basics about the human condition. How does she react when you discuss your situation!? She needs to know and understand. You are not beneath her.

bibliomania Wed 31-Dec-14 09:46:39

Sounds like you've been through a tough few years.

You've had a lot of difficult relationships - your mother, your exH. That can hurt you at a very deep level, and spill over into all other relationships. I actually think the best thing for you and your dd would be to step back for a moment and concentrate on regaining your own emotional balance. If you're carrying a lot of hurt and bewilderment and a sense that your family relations "should" be different, there's a risk you will bring a lot of emotional baggage to your attempts to engage with your dd, which she'll sense and which could easily push her away.

Of course you should keep the channels open with her, but I'd suggest keeping things light for now. I'd strongly encourage you to go for some counselling for yourself - work on healing yourself before you try to heal the relationship with her. You'll then be coming from a position of strength and love rather than anguish and neediness.

Mandatorymongoose Wed 31-Dec-14 09:47:28

Is it actually the way she acts and speaks to you that's the problem?

Or is it that you feel very bad about yourself? Guilty about leaving her and that you couldn't have provided the same things as her father?

You've been in an abusive relationship, your self esteem is probably trashed. Try and work on yourself, so you don't feel so bullied by everyone. I think if you approached the relationship with your daughter as a happy, confident person who enjoyed their life she would be much more interested in sharing it.

You can't change the past, only work on the future.

Saymwa Wed 31-Dec-14 09:49:42

Hello ,

Sending you a big hug. I feel proud of you because of your bravery. Why not ask your daughter if she'd agree to family therapy and then see what you can set up after the holidays are over ? She can probable afford a flight to the UK from time to time .

It sounds to me that your daughter is angry with you . But that doesn't mean that she doesn't love you or need you.

I believe you both need outside help to be able to get something better out of your relationship. How about asking her to do that with you ?

If she's very angry , you might be able to listen and sum up what she's saying ( without judging her ) then ask her if she'd like to sort it out with you. If she says 'yes' , you could ask her if she's any suggestions and then offer yours.

I hope this helps and wish you all the best,

emm0371 Wed 31-Dec-14 09:51:43

She says she does not want to know. I have tried to speak to her on several occations with no outcome other than me looking like an even bigger looser in her eyes. My ds has greater understanding, he also cannot understand why she is so cold towards me and why she has ignored us both, or just sat there criticising us for how we live our life. I just whish there was something I could do as I know she is not a cold person and I love her endlessly.

emm0371 Wed 31-Dec-14 09:58:16

Thank you for great advice already. It is so good to get someone elses outlook on things as it can be like looking through a tainted glass trying to sort something like this out, so thank you.

Saymwa Wed 31-Dec-14 10:01:23

How about starting with that then ?
Ask her " Do you think I'm a loser ? Are you angry with me ?"

Her behavior is expressing her feelings. She needs to put words on them , but has difficulties doing that.

Your job is to help her find out 'why' and I suggest you do this gently, starting where you are right now , you and her alone . Then with outside professionnal help.

Bonsoir Wed 31-Dec-14 10:04:59

Your DD's life is on track. She has had a great start in life. You and your DS are in a bad place right now. TBH I think you need to concentrate on getting you and your DS back to a place from where you can both move onwards and upwards rather than on trying to mend the relationship with your DD. That will happen when you and your DS have your lives back on track.

Quitethewoodsman Wed 31-Dec-14 10:11:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

peachgirl Wed 31-Dec-14 12:50:53

Sending you a big hug OP. It sounds like your daughter is angry, but not necessarily with you - however, I do think she is taking it out on you. (It's absolute rubbish that you can't advise her on uni because you haven't been!) Of course, it can't be helping that your mother is (deliberately?) coming between you and no doubt making things worse.

Her SM may be in a better position than you to offer support at the moment, but that's not your fault, and your daughter needs to understand that. I'm actually rather shocked at her selfish attitude and lack of empathy, but clearly she also has issues that she's dealing(?) with.

I think you've had some excellent advice on this thread, particularly from Saymwa. Good luck OP flowers

emm0371 Wed 31-Dec-14 15:21:00

I am so greatful for all the advice on here. I took myself and my dd for a walk in the cold, 10k later and frezing we are a lot closer to what we both feel is a solution.
We managed to chat casually about fashion, university and what to do next. We are now sat in the warmth and she is enthusiastic about another university here in Iceland that she feels may be better for her. I agree as well. It was with your excelent advice that I found currage to speaak to her.

I am just so very greatfyl as I love her and needed her to know that whatever she chooses to do she has my support.

I am having fantastic help at the refuge and I know I have a long way to go but if I am not in order or got confidence I will hardly be plecent to be around. So bring on the new year.

Thank you all very much and happy 2015.

UptheChimney Wed 31-Dec-14 16:22:33

From your OP, you make a number of subtly undermining comments about your daughter. For a start, you prioritised your son's education over her when she was at a tricky age (13). You did what you had to do for yourself, and you've actually had a very difficult life, it seems, but you were the grown up when she was 13. You seem to have expected her to understand your reasons for your actions, but you are critical of her actions.

I think you still have a long way to go. You need to stop carping about her, and you need to take responsibility for the effect your decisions had on her when she was 13.

emm0371 Wed 31-Dec-14 16:57:18

upthechimney, it is not like I just picked my son up and left to another country and just left my dd behind. I am not listing everything in my post as that would be lengthy.

I was after advice and I have had great feedback. I do take responsibility for my actions and more so. I have been slated for what I did but I had no option, and I am not going to list my reasons here as they are personal. My daughter is loved and wanted.

I would not be posting in a forum like this one knowing that I am opening a cannel for people like yourself to put me down even further when I have been suicidal over what I have done, belive me I have very little opinion of myself already. I have no support network so instead having to rely on people out there for advise.

I am not asking people to have simpathy either.

Thank you though for your input.

drudgetrudy Wed 31-Dec-14 17:03:11

That may be true upthechimney but OP can only start from where she is now.
OP -you have made a good start-keep listening to her and validating her feelings-try not to bring your own difficulties into it-make it all about her (you are the Mum).
I think it would be good to get counselling for yourself. If you start talking to her in any depth you may hear a lot of anger and resentment and you need to be strong to absorb this without attempting to justify yourself.
A counsellor could help with that.
I agree with keeping it quite light to begin with.
Try not to compare yourself to her SM. its fine that they have a good relationship-she can also have a good relationship with you.

UptheChimney Wed 31-Dec-14 17:03:33

I don't mean to "put you down" -- I was most struck, though, by how your daughter might have felt about you leaving the country when she was 13. Although clearly you had very good reasons, at 13, she was not really capable of dealing with those or understanding them. She was a child, and you were her main carer, leaving her.

It will take time for you to find a new way to be mother & daughter.

I suppose I see it from your daughter's point of view, as I have an in-law whose mother left their country to marry someone in another country, and I can see the effect it's had on him even now, 20 years later. You have your reasons, and you also bear a great burden, but so does she, so does she ...

Saymwa Wed 31-Dec-14 21:06:17


That's such lovely news. Well done you very brave mum. It sounds like this year is ending well for you.

Wishing you a very peaceful and happy New Year,

Nonotagain Thu 01-Jan-15 09:15:14

Great to hear you feel better. Yes you left your daughter but you also escaped an abusive marriage and she was given a fantastic education. I agree with other posters now focus on yourself and your son so you can move forward your daughter isn't going anywhere

SomethingOnce Thu 01-Jan-15 10:19:09

Whatever the reasons for leaving her may be, I suspect your DD experienced it as an abandonment.

By the way, have I understood correctly that the abusive relationship was with your second husband (your DS's father) and not the father of your DD?

Andro Thu 01-Jan-15 12:36:37

OP, with the best will in the world your DD received the (unintended?) message that you valued your son over her - she may have been privileged but her mother still walked away from her. I'm sure you have your reasons for the choices you made, but you sent a damaging impression.

Your daughter is protecting herself, keeping her distance so that you can't take an emotional sledgehammer to her life again. All you can do is keep the lines of communication open and let her come to you if she chooses to. Pressuring her will push her away, this has to her choice now...and you need to find a way to accept that you may have lost her for good.

UptheChimney Thu 01-Jan-15 15:34:34

The tough fact is, that she was a child, and the OP was an adult. It's going to take a very long time for the relationship to find its way, and the OP may need to accept that the relationship will never be what she thinks it should be. And, if I were the daughter, yes, I'd feel abandoned. I would find that very difficult to get past.

One only has to read threads in here from children who have experienced the consequences of something like the OP's decisions to see that ...

It's tough, but when we have children, we have to take on board that now we are the adults. I learnt that on the sudden death of my OH.

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